Former Williamson Mayor and Bank of Mingo Official Sentenced for Lying to Federal Agents
CHARLESTON, WV—The former Mayor of Williamson, A. Darrin McCormick, was sentenced to three years of probation and a fine of $5,000 for making a materially false statement to the FBI in February 2013. McCormick lied to federal agents in the course of an investigation of suspicious banking activity by Aracoma Contracting, LLC.
In addition to being the Mayor of Williamson, McCormick was a bank manager for the Bank of Mingo in Williamson. Aracoma, a contract labor company in Williamson, had a line of credit at the Bank of Mingo. Federal agents were investigating a series of suspicious cash withdrawals by two of the principals of Aracoma, Jerome Edward Russell and Frelin R. Workman. Banks are required by federal law to report all cash transactions involving more than $10,000 to the IRS. Russell, Workman and others, regularly withdrew cash from the Bank of Mingo in amounts less than $10,000 to prevent triggering the reporting requirement and evade the payment of payroll taxes. This practice, known as “structuring” is a federal crime.
On February 19, 2013, special agents of the FBI and IRS asked McCormick if he was aware that multiple Aracoma employees had come into the Bank of Mingo at the same time to withdraw cash. McCormick denied knowledge of Aracoma’s structuring practices, though he was well aware of them.
After the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin commented, “Lying to federal investigators is always a serious crime, but when a public official lies in a federal criminal inquiry, it’s especially disappointing. To put it simply, this defendant knew better. He was a high-ranking bank executive and the mayor of Williamson. The bank misconduct that he lied about allowed others to commit crimes including bribery and large-scale fraud. Instead of helping uncover and stop those crimes, he lied to help cover them up.” McCormick pled guilty in May 2014.
The FBI and IRS, assisted by the West Virginia State Police and FDIC, handled the investigation and prosecution of McCormick.